October 10th, 2008
02:02 PM ET

Palin trooper inquiry results: Exoneration or humiliation?

Editor's note: If the results are released tonight originally planned, Randi Kaye report on the findings of the investigation into Gov. Sarah Palin. Look for it on AC360° tonight at 10p ET.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/10/art.palin.ohio.jpg]
Susan Chun
AC360° Producer

Today the Alaska State legislature will announce the results of its investigation into whether or not Governor Sarah Palin used her power of office for personal reasons. Palin is accused of firing her Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, because he would not dismiss her ex brother-in-law, an Alaska State Trooper named Mike Wooten who Palin says threatened her family and was a disgrace to the state police.

The entire investigation has hung under a political cloud of suspicion. Opponents accuse Governor Palin, who initially welcomed the investigation, of playing politics after she reversed her stand and declined cooperation with the investigation following her nomination to the vice presidency. The McCain campaign accuses democrats of "hijacking" the investigation in order to sabotage the GOP ticket in November.

The Democratic lawmaker in charge of the investigation, Hollis French, did make an ominous statement about an "October Surprise" which may cast a shadow over Palin's image, even before completing the investigation.

The facts of the case, which are undisputed by either side, concern State Trooper Mike Wooten, who was going through a messy divorce with Palin's sister. The Palins made complaints to the Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, about Wooten. Monegan was eventually fired. Monegan told CNN he believed he was fired because he did not succumb to pressure from the Governor, her husband Todd, and her aides to fire Wooten. The Palin administration denies this, saying Monegan was fired over a budget dispute.

Some legislators I spoke with in Alaska said they were eager for the investigation to wrap up because they were tired of the national spotlight on an investigation they consider to be an internal Alaskan matter.

And the nation will be watching as the results are announced in the afternoon. It could prove embarrassing for Sarah Palin if they show evidence she abused her power as Governor to resolve a family matter.

Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    Trropergate is just one more instance in the resume of Sarah Palin which disqualifies her from running for Vice President. Her and her husband's involvement in a domestic terrorist group is real. The Alaska Independence Party is a real threat to the peace of our country. At best she is a traitor and as such should not be considered for any office much less VP. The rabid racism that she spouts is also a reason that she should be removed from the ticket.

    October 13, 2008 at 8:42 am |
  2. Yvonne from Canada

    I don't think this decision was surprising. We are playing close attention to your election (we have our election tomorrow).

    We watch because the comedic relief that Sarah Palin provides is incredible. The fact that anyone is taking this person seriously is just mind boggling. Quite sad actually, because we all thought there was great promise with her arrival onto the political stage.

    It’s clear, you have one choice really – the Obama/Biden ticket. End of conversation.

    For us here in Canada – not so clear. Good luck.

    October 13, 2008 at 8:26 am |
  3. JBaker

    I do believe leaving family out of the race but Palin and her husband Todd said that they are very close and work hand and hand in all areas and discuss all, that is until she is being checked out for wrong doings then its Oh I didn't know what he was doing and then she becomes the VP and the her husband Todd becomes the VP's or even possible the president's THUG then what?????? Maybe his background needs to be looked into alittle bit.

    October 13, 2008 at 8:18 am |
  4. Michel

    Palin has been found guilty and keeps accusing Obama who has not been found guilty.What an abuse of free speech on her part.she is part of the republican party which does not respect .
    human dignity in their endevors to obtain powers.The last two administration lied to obtain power.They also lied to every american.So if a party lies during a political campaign,they will also lie after the election.Then they lie to everybody,even to members of their own party.

    October 13, 2008 at 5:04 am |
  5. Pamalah, Forest Knolls, CA

    While Sarah might not be doing anything "illegal", intimidation and abuse of power is standard operating procedure for Sarah. Note that she was almost recalled after abusing power as mayor of Wasilla. Now, some folks in Alaska are starting another recall of Sarah.

    If she were in the V.P. spot, just think how much power she could abuse. She is similar to Dick Cheney, just not as smart. However, she is undoubtedly a better shot.

    October 13, 2008 at 2:13 am |
  6. Dave

    McCain has been running attack ads on Obama's "truthfullness", yet early this morning his campaign issued a blatently false 'early report' that Palin had been exhonorated by the legislators in Alaska. As someone who was leaning toward McCain, I have no choice but to view ALL of McCain's campaign statements as far-reaching if not out right dishonest. I am now leaning heavily toward Obama.

    October 10, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  7. Linda

    Wasn't the investigation into her actions started before she was selected the running mate? McCain cannot play the "Democratic ploy" card....nope.

    October 10, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  8. Joe Ayala

    news flash! the investigation reports confirms that Gov. Sarah Palin did abuse her power as governor. my, my, my, what a surprise, not. what's next for the GOP, McCain and all of those Palin followers? no one is free of sin. it's just some are more of a sinner then others.

    people can question about Obama or McCain's judgements of people they know or have known. people can even question about their policies of domestics and foreign affairs.

    but no one has ever accused them of abusing their political powers to force others. she should have remember that old saying "what goes around comes around." and it bit her hard.

    October 10, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  9. Lionel

    To suggest that the outcome of "troopergate" or any other Palin controversy is somehow significant relative to the current electoral process seems to imply that if Gov.Palin is exonerated, she will then become a legitimate vice-presidential candidate. Even the most basic analytical observation confirms that she was selected not for her superior vice-presidential qualities but rather for "Get Elected First" and not "Country First". Although she is probably a nice person with many wonderful attributes, she is clearly not vice-presidential material. This choice reflects poorly on Senator McCain as well because the selection of Gov.Palin confirms that he is unable to see the wider canvas with respect to the office he so desperately seeks.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:58 pm |
  10. Cam, Connecticut

    Guilty, but not guilty. Hmmm. No law against abuse of power? Is it no wonder we have the problems that we do? Why is it that he/she who has a position of responsibiity gets to do pretty much what they want? It is doubtful that Palin would have been able to be elected govenor of any state with significant population density where politicians of lesser substance are more easily exposed. Less credible "leaders" often rely on cronyism and bullying. Palin is mostly a single dimension candidate and it seems that most of those identifying with her tend to be mostly of that same single dimension. Is there no longer any respect for the responsibilities of executive branch offices even by the holders and potential holders of those positions? Worried about terrorist?s Protect us from our leaders.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  11. Christy of Kansas City

    I am shocked and greatly concerned by the behavior of Americans drawn to Gov. Palin. She has been found to have "abused" her power as governor and we know precious little else about her yet her followers are willing to put her in position to potentially be the President of the United States. She wears her religion on her sleeve, proudly sharing her conservative Christian views, but, ironically, she tolerates and even evokes hatred and threats of violence against Senator Obama from her supporters. Sarah Palin's intentional provokations and baseless accusations are disturbing and demonstrate that she is not worthy of her current position. America and the world need a leader with a good heart and mind.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  12. Lisa

    Well with the latest judgement I'd have to say what goes around comes around. She is such a self rightous fool.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  13. Ali

    The problem with Sara is that she does not understand questions let alone answer! Mccain has proved his poor judgment in his choice. Are you going to give her nuclear codes if she is in power?! It is the most scary issue! think about it!!

    October 10, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  14. tony arterburn little rock arkansas

    yall probably wont air this.but iam so tired of mccain and palin saying obama is this and that, but i dont think that highly of a man that disobeyed orders and thought he was all that got capture then told information noone else did hes a maverick ok first sign of trouble and he spills his guts

    October 10, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  15. gerry

    Sounds like an impeachable case to me.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  16. John

    Too bad she is guilty... The investigation results are now public! lol

    October 10, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  17. V, WA

    I don't think any moms want to relate to Palin. It definitely showed McCain's bad judgment in picking his VP. Please don't put "fairness" & "ready to work for the country & people" in the title.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  18. Steve in WV

    Anderson, can you believe this stuff? 1st what if she it was her brother or sister who was behaving like this poor excuse for a trooper? I think anyone who has as many complaints against them as he did ought not to be allowed to be a law enforcement officer. Also, In think had some of these other Rpuublican candidates not be in the race such as Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee would have won the nomination. Now, that would have been real interesting for Obama. What would he have called him out for? nothing but helping a state get back on it's feet. Also, when Huckabee was asked questions on the economy and what he would do at least he had specific answers.

    October 10, 2008 at 9:09 pm |
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